Complaining can kill our spirits. No one likes to hear someone else complain, but we love to do it ourselves. At the heart of complaining is a victim mentality. We feel an injustice has been done to us, someone else has been given what we deserve, we didn’t get a fair shot, or perhaps we weren’t born into the right family or country or endowed with the perfect looks or talents.
Some seem to have elevated complaining about co-workers, friends, or family to an art form. For others, it seems to be more a sport, as each successive complaint tops the previous one. Despite our fascination with complaining, nothing good will ever come from it.
One of the most insidious things complaining accomplishes is it blinds us to all the good things the Lord has done for us, through us, and inside of us. With each complaint comes an accompanying denial of the goodness of God. He wants only what is best for you. If we spent as much time focused on all He has given us and all He has done for us as we do complaining about what isn’t right in our lives, we would dramatically improve our disposition. People would love to be around us instead of turning the other way when they see us coming. Complaining sucks the life out of not only yourself but also those to whom you are complaining.
The truth is, the source of almost all our complaining can be found in ourselves. When our eyes are on Jesus we have little about which to complain. He is everything and we realize how trivial all else is in His presence. But when we allow our focus to drift away from Him and onto ourselves, we see who we are without Christ. We see our inadequacies and sin-spoiled nature. As we discover what we are lacking, instead of turning to God for strength and fulfillment, we begin looking around and seeing others who seem to have it all together, or perhaps just have more than we do. Our immediate response is to blame them somehow for our own misfortune.
Jesus said if we lack anything for His mission, we should ask the Father for it (John 15:7). Instead of going to God, we complain to others. It never occurs to us our victimhood is more than likely caused by our own laziness or fear. God has given us everything we need to accomplish all He has given us to do. If we’re not accomplishing what we know He has called us to do, the fault is only with us. We have the resources. We have the power. What we lack is the discipline and the will to put our selfish desires aside and go all in with Jesus.
Complaining will never mover you forward in your relationship with Christ or in your life. Paul reminded us to think only of things that are true, honorable, pure, just, lovely, and commendable (Philippians 4:8). Our complaining doesn’t fit in any of those categories. Paul also told us to rejoice always, to pray constantly, and to give thanks for everything (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). We need to put aside our selfish thinking and stop playing the victim. Complaining will eat you alive. Rejoicing in Jesus will give you life in its fullest form. Stop complaining. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Do the work He has given you to do.